Eva Marie Everson, Jerry B. Jenkins, Cheri Cowell, and Larry J. Leech, II
In your journey to publication, have you ever hesitated at walking through open doors? Author Eva Marie Everson is here today, sharing her amazing story at what God was able to do when instead of closing the door to opportunity, she walked through it. Her experience blew me away. ~ Dawn
Weaving Words, Together
by Eva Marie Everson
I almost didn’t go. Looking back, I can hardly believe what would have been the loss had I not.
My friend Laura told me about a writers critique group starting up; she insisted I go. I’d been writing for a children’s ministry for a year and she thought this the obvious next step for me. She gave me the “when and where.” I told her I’d go.
But I got lost that Saturday in March 1997. I did, however, manage to find Laura’s house. Over coffee, I told Laura I’d decided not to go. I hate being late, I said. Hate the feeling that people are looking at me when I walk in. But when the last sip had been drained from my cup, Laura pointed toward the door and, again, insisted I drive the less-that-one-mile to my destination.
I sighed. I hung my shoulders. I told myself I really didn’t want to go. After all, I’d written my whole life and still I wasn’t really a “writer.” But, I was obedient. I went. And, a few minutes later, I sat around a table with four other aspiring writers, none of us knowing much about anything. We just believed this was where God (and Laura) wanted us to be.
Over time, five grew to fifteen. Fifteen to twenty. We called ourselves “Word Weavers.” When the group needed leadership, I became the first “president.” In 1999, with what I’d learned, I presented my first proposal to an editor. Nine days later, I was contracted. My journey was newly exciting and I wanted everyone else to experience it, too. I’d gathered like-minded leadership for Word Weavers and we worked diligently to be iron sharpening iron.
Our numbers grew. And grew. Each of us looking forward to that second Saturday of the month, knowing that the fundamentals we’d established not only could work, they did work. We became widely published. Award-winning. We incorporated things like annual picnics, book sales, and retreats. We became recognizable at conferences.
After seven years I turned the reins of president over to Larry Leech who, when asked “How do we start a writers group?” helped launch new Word Weavers groups. Larry, Cheri Cowell, and I became the leadership team over what became seven chapters. Then, in early 2010, Jerry B. Jenkins (Left Behind author and owner of the Christian Writers Guild) took notice. Six months later, the Guild acquired Word Weavers. By the end of 2011, we will have over thirty Word Weavers chapters in the US and Canada.
For me, this is astounding. Not only is Word Weavers the method by which I sharpen my own skills, it’s the method by which I help sharpen the skills of others. And, with Word Weavers, when one is sharpened, they—in turn—sharpen another. And so on and so on. But, this isn’t about getting published and winning awards, as wonderful as that is. This is Kingdom work.
God spoke the world into existence with words. His Son is “The Word.” We use our words, inspired by our love for God, to draw others to Him. This alone stirs me like little can.
It frightens me too. Because … I almost didn’t go.
What about you? What door has God opened that you almost didn’t go through?
Eva Marie Everson is the author of over twenty-five award-winning books, both fiction and nonfiction. She is a mentor for The Christian Writers Guild and the Executive Co-Chairman for CWG/Word Weavers. If you would like to know more about how to start a Jerry B. Jenkins Christian Writers Guild Word Weavers in your area, contact Eva Marie at PenNhnd@aol.com.
To learn more about Eva Marie, please check out these links:
Southern Voice Blog: www.EvaMarieEversonsSouthernVoice.blogspot.com
1 Writer, 1 Day Blog: www.EvaMarieEverson.blogspot.com